San Diego Chargers great Junior Seau, 43, shocked the San Diego area and sports' world with his suicide, May 2, 2012. To many, likely all, this was a senseless loss of a beloved son, brother, father, relative, friend, human, a local hero, a philanthropist and sports phenomenon. How many people were jealous of Junior before this tragedy? How many are now, I wonder?
Ultimately, no one really knows what drives a person to take their own life or how a person can feel death at their own hands is their only option. I am unable to fathom what brings a person to that very dark point. Considering that concept makes me very sad... sad that any one could ever feel so alone and hopeless... sad for the devastated loved ones left behind with so many unanswered questions... sad for all that could have been... the possibilities gone forever.
I believed until fairly recently I had lived the majority of my life not personally knowing anyone that had performed the act or those left behind that had been effected by a suicide. Not true! Not long ago I recalled a grade school acquaintance, Laura, whose mother committed suicide. I doubt she was truly the only person I knew, but she was the only one close to my circle of friends.
As an adult, I am all too aware of relatives, friends and neighbors that either did end their lives prematurely or were very close to that precipice, making me sadder yet. Not so sad that I entered the dark space of mind to even broach the topic, but sad that I was near and neither they nor I reached out. Although unaware of their situation, I still feel guilty that I did not do more. How could I?
Only in one instance was I made aware in advance by a third party. Only then was I able to take action, hoping to make a difference without being obvious that I was in the loop. Did I make a difference? I do not know. I hope so, but I am untrained in these matters. I desperately want to think perhaps one iota of my caring, my actions, my love, made the tiniest difference! The person is making their way through life today. I hope they will for as long as their life is naturally intended... hopefully a very long time. I hope they will always remember they are loved and that someone cares.
As for Laura's mother, So's cuz, Blanca, Dennis, Jessi, Junior and all the others who felt no other options existed, rest easy. Your earthly troubles are over. We wish you had let someone ... anyone ... know just how badly you felt. We wish you had allowed someone help ease your pain and suffering whatever the cause, no matter how horrific or unbearable it seemed. Helped you move beyond darkness and pain into a place of all possibilities. Those of us left behind must make our way through grief, loss and life without any real understanding and perhaps feeling great guilt for many reasons the rest of our days. Life is just too short as it is to cut it any shorter!
A public Celebration of Life for Junior Seau will be held Friday, May 11, 2012, and is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. Admission and parking will be free and on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the projected turnout, public transportation is highly recommended. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Junior Seau Foundation are encouraged. The foundation is located at 5275 Market St., Suite B, San Diego, CA 92114. Donations also can be made online at juniorseau.org. Junior's spirit will live on through good works.
If you or someone you know is considering committing suicide, call or tell someone, anyone, but preferably a counselor, pastor, teacher, parent, doctor, etc. Or go to http://suicidehotlines.com/ to find an organization in your state, or call National Suicide Hotlines USA, Toll-Free / 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at:
1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433
1-800-273-TALK / 1-800-273-8255
1-800-799-4TTY (4889) / Hotline for hearing impaired
Helpful information for possibly spotting the signs and helping someone suicidal:
If you feel suicide is your only path, reach out! Ask for help! Please, please I beg you! allow someone help you get beyond your darkest moments into ones of hope and light again. While you may feel this is impossible right now, there is always hope. And, there will always be someone who cares about you, too, whether you know them or not.